Saturday, March 26, 2005

A Final Word on Schiavo

I wanted to leave this issue and write no more of it. But it’s transfixed the nation and troubled me for a week now and I feel a need to say a final word. After much thought, this is my belief: There are all kinds of brain damage from mild to severe. How brain damaged must a person be before we say "o.k., it's reasonable to let this person die." I don't know if we can draw that line. And if we can't draw that line, the only line left is the one between life and death (and I think we should live in a society that sides with life).

If she were conscious and on a feeding tube, no state would let her die, even if she wanted to (it's called suicide). So, assuming we all still agree that suicide for the non-terminally ill is wrong, the question becomes, is there a point when a person's life is worthless? Clearly her being alive brings comfort and peace to her family, so her life must still have worth. Her husband should have let her live. It is so cruel to her family to let her die.

But Terri Schiavo’s husband, under the current law, has the right to remove her feeding tube. The judiciary was right to uphold the law as is. Anyone who says this was judicial activism is wrong. It would have been judicial activism to reinsert the tube. Those that disagree with the law should change the law, not blame the judges. And clearly, better laws on this kind of tragedy are needed.

May Terri Schiavo find peace now.


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